Siembra Como el Jíbaro Siembro

December is upon us and while colder weather and the holiday season is in full swing, it isn’t too late to start planting or watering seeds.

It’s very common practice while scrolling through social media to see folks engage in online “challenges” for attention. Some of these challenges start off with good intentions however many are just idiotic and I usually scroll right past them. This however did get me to thinking of a new challenge; support a local business or entrepreneurs.

Our people come from very diverse backgrounds and experiences, and through these experiences our entrepreneurial spirit has always been strong. Unfortunately, many small businesses suffer early on before they can successfully turn profit due to the lack of support they receive from the people closest to them.

On my visit to Buffalo a few months back, I was happy see many of “our businesses” on Niagara Street and elsewhere throughout the Puerto Rican West Side. Whether they were restaurants, small grocery stores, hair and nail salons or even clothing shops, I’m glad to see that entrepreneurial spirit live on within our people.

These seeds aren’t only relegated to businesses either, they are ideas that can be in the form of art or cultural programs that may need an extra boost. The term “starving artist” is well known in the English lexicon, however it doesn’t have to be. If you know an artist, share their work, buy their work and wares and make sure you spread their art through word of mouth or social media. That exposure goes a long way, especially now with the holiday season, buying locally produced goods from your neighbors would mean the world to an artist struggling to get by. It will help stimulate the local economy but more importantly, help stimulate the growth of a local business owner or dreamer.

The phrase “support your own” is one I have heard for years and I cannot repeat it enough. Support our people, be the cultivators of their dreams and wishes and spread their works so that others may enjoy it.

Do you know of a great hidden gem that sells amazing pinchos? Tell a friend!

Do you know a lady who crochets awesome newborn baby outfits? Share their work!

The Latino Community on the West Side is so full of talented people who have either planted seeds or have some in need of being planted and supported with sunshine, fertile earth and water.

With the holidays coming, the best gift you can give someone could very well be the support they need to continue growing their businesses or ideas.

Be the water or sunshine that helps that seedling spout. Cultivate their ideas like our ancestors worked the cane fields, machete in hand, sowing the fruits of their labor that fed their communities.

This community here on the west side will only go as far as those who support one another.

Until next time. See you all in 2021

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